Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Meeting Old Friends in Berkeley, CA

Michael and I are back from our long train trip to San Francisco.  We crossed from the Atlantic to the Pacific on Amtrak and back again.  I'm tired, but I have lots of pictures and lots of stories.

I begin with a trip to Berkeley where I was very pleased to finally meet 2 very old and good friends of this blog, Susan Sheppard Hedges and the famous JCF (JC Fisher).  Meeting both of them and spending the afternoon touring Berkeley was one of the happiest parts of my whole trip.  They are both delightful, and I look forward to seeing them again when I return to the Bay Area, sooner rather than later.  For those of you who are dying to know what they look like, here they are.

Susan is on the left.  JCF is on the right.

Me with JCF

Me with Susan

Behind us is San Francisco Bay viewed from the hills above Berkeley.

In the distance is the highest point in the area, Mt. Tamalpais (pronounced "tamal PIOUS" I'm told).

The Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

San Francisco in the distance.  More about that place later.  The Bay Bridge is on the left behind the trees.

Susan, JCF, and I spent the afternoon touring the campus of UC Berkeley where Susan was an alumnus.  I felt very underqualified.

The very beautiful main quadrangle on a hillside with a view of the Bay out toward Golden Gate Bridge

The Campanile, a free standing bell tower behind us in the picture above.  I've seen this tower for years from across the Bay.  This was the first time I saw it up close.

The Sather Gate which brought back a lot of memories of UC Berkeley's radical student days in the 1960s.

For example, here is a demonstration marching through the gate for the Free Speech movement in 1964 - 1965.

Here is historic Sproul Hall famous for another dramatic episode in the beginnings of student political activism in the 1960s.

Here is Mario Savio giving his famous speech in front of Sproul Hall in 1964.

The UC Berkeley campus is so beautiful with brooks flowing through the grounds and groves of huge redwood trees like these.  The statue in the foreground commemorates a coach who managed to get the UC Berkeley football team to the Rose Bowl one year.

JCF chases a bronze dryad with a camera on the UC Berkeley campus.

Susan gave us a tour of her church, St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Berkeley, founded in 1877 and a real architectural gem of a building.  We met the rector and the choir director and organist.

St. Mark's built in a "mission" style unusual for an Episcopal church anywhere.

Interior of St. Mark's with a redwood beam ceiling

Windows in St. Mark's made by Louis Comfort Tiffany

The organ in Saint Mark's

The rose window behind the organ

The splendid chapel in St. Mark's

A window in the chapel with a copy of Guido Reni's Christ

JCF admires the chapel windows.  To the right is a 19th century reed organ.

JCF admires the carving on the pulpit.


Paul said...

Thanks, Doug, for the nostalgia tour for me. I lived in the East Bay hills, commuted through Berkeley to work at St Cuthbert's, Oakland, and was a former member of St. Mark's, the parish that sponsored me for priesthood. Many visits to Cal. Glad you and Michael could get away (much deserved) and are safely home again.

June Butler said...

How lovely that you met up with Susan and JCF. I'm always a bit jealous when my friends meet without me. :-)

The campus at Berkeley is beautiful. Of course, seeing the statue of the coach had to be the high spot of the visit.

St Mark's is gorgeous, inside and out. Susan is surrounded by beauty.

Counterlight said...

You'll just have to come out and join us next time Grandmere.

June Butler said...

A cross-country train ride with you and Michael would be great fun.

susan s. said...

Great time! How did you fail to mention Sconehenge, Doug? ;-)

I have to admit that you made an assumption about my schooling! I am not an alum of Cal. I graduated in '68 from Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, TN. I only sang in the Chamber Chorus at Cal many years later in the late 80s-early 90s. But thanks for the bump up!! <3

The pictures are very nice!

it's margaret said...


Welcome home to NYC --both of you. I am so glad you had a good time.

And it is fun to look at the pictures --too bad they are not scratch and sniff! As to Mt. Tam.... "(pronounced "tamal PIOUS" I'm told)" --actually, we always said Tam - all -PIE -us.....

susan s. said...

Actually, Margaret, I think there is little difference in the _way_ we say Mt. Tam's full name. ;-) It's just spelled differently. I don't think we actually spelled it out phoneticallly. Doug just made it up!!

JCF said...

[Eeek, that last pic! Doug, what did I say about not getting me w/ my gut hanging out? ;-p]

The pleasure was ALL mine, believe me. [Susan, I confess I didn't connect you to your MANY-times-viewed avatar]

Shortly, Doug, I'll try to scan&upload some pics of St Mark's as my parents were marrying there: 4/21/56! [My mom was Cal alum: maybe that's who you were thinking of?]

Maybe you'll have some more Berkeley architectural photos, Doug, when you've had time (and knowing you, research)? Of course, you may want to post SF pics, too: always acceptable!

Hey, DOMA was overturned today, and the places seen above are celebrating the Death of "H8"! Awesomesauce and Alleluia! :-D

Counterlight said...

Thanks JCF!

Try to take any picture of me that doesn't show MY gut hanging out, now there's a real challenge.

SF pics are coming, and I do have so more Berkeley campus pics that I will post later.